CAMBRIDGE, Ohio — A scrapbook recently purchased from an antiques dealer in Huntington Beach, Calif., contains previously unknown childhood photos of astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.
“It’s an amazing find,” said Adam Sackowitz, a John Glenn historian from New York State. “It reminds us that John Glenn was born in Cambridge, Ohio, close to 100 years ago.”
He said there are not a lot of photos of Glenn as a young child from the time he lived in Cambridge from 1921 to 1923.
“It’s certainly a tremendous find,” he said.
Glenn, who served as a U.S. senator from Ohio, was born in Cambridge but grew up in nearby New Concord. He learned to fly at Harry Clever Field in New Philadelphia.
Aaron Turner, librarian for the Ohio Genealogical Society, purchased a collection of old photo albums in early July. One of the albums belonged to the Luyster family of Cambridge. The Luysters lived at 1205 Foster Avenue, next door to Glenn’s parents, John and Clara Glenn, who lived at 1201 Foster Ave., Sackowitz said.
Several of the photos showed a baby and were labeled “Buddy Glenn.” John Herschel Glenn, Jr., was named for his father, John Herschel Glenn, Sr., and was called both “Bud” and “Buddy” as a small child, Sackowitz said.
He has purchased four of the photos from Turner.
Sackowitz said he hopes to visit Ohio by the end of the year and would be willing to donate the photos to the Guernsey County Historical Society. “It would be great for the society to have them in their possession some day.”
He also hopes to work with Cambridge officials to mark the centennial of Glenn’s birth in 2021.